Health and Well-being

Sport is fun. Sport is an essential tool for building strong individuals and vibrant communities and for enhancing our collective pride and identity and sense of belonging. Through sport in their respective communities, individuals learn to volunteer and to accept a sense of responsibility for a civil society. Sport contributes to individual physical, social, and character development.

With the power to be a major influence on marginalized and under-represented groups and individuals at risk, sport develops self-esteem and helps to overcome personal and social challenges. Studies have shown that an increased level of sport participation offers many benefits over and above personal satisfaction and a sense of physical and emotional well-being. For example, an increase in sport activity can result in better marks at school, a decrease in cigarette smoking, reduced crime rates, and reduced use of illicit drugs.

Health and Well-being

As a way to be physically active, participation in sport contributes to the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and prevention of disease and illness. Physical activity is fundamental to positive human development and contributes to healthier, longer, and more productive lives.

Participation in sport and physical activity at all ages increases resistance to such diseases as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and obesity and to mental health disorders. An increased investment in sport means an increase in health quality and a decrease in health care costs. Conservative estimates suggest that illness due to physical inactivity costs £2.1 billion pounds annually in direct health care costs.


Sport is an important component of culture. We express ourselves and celebrate our communities through sport. We share stories, myths, and lessons derived from sport. Our languages are rich in the terminology of sport. Through sport we learn values and behaviours that we apply to all aspects of our society – hard work, discipline, the value of fun, teamwork, respect for others, and fair play.

Sport is especially important to the development of youth and often provides their first experience with organized activities. Sport brings young people into contact with each other and other communities, teaches leadership skills, provides a constructive outlet, and generally enhances quality of life.

Sport is an essential component in the daily lives of more than eight million athletes/ participants. Sport represents the second largest segment of the voluntary sector, after workplace based organizations. Establishing sport clubs and organizing events are great training grounds for social action. Social capital is built by learning to organize meetings, negotiate for the use of shared facilities, and deal with expectations, triumphs, and failures.

Sport is a popular spectator activity. People in every community across the world follow teams and individuals from the local level to the world stage. Individuals can relax together over sport and it is often a shared topic of common interest.

Education Access to quality physical education, physical activity and school sport provides many benefits for children, including better health and quality of life, psychological well-being, improved behaviour and ability to learn, higher scholastic performance, good health habits, an appreciation of physical activity and sport. Quality physical education programs can reduce the social, structural, and economic barriers typically faced by children and youth, particularly those in low-income families.

Economic Development and Prosperity Many people are unaware of the significant contribution sport makes to the economy. In 1996, the average household spent more than £700 a year on sporting goods and services. Significant construction of infrastructure is associated with sport, and millions of pounds are spent on sport sponsorship and advertising.

Sport generates substantial revenues, whether from professional sport or from hosting national or international events. Hosting sport events can also have a vital long-term impact on local and regional economies. In 1999, sport activity was associated with more than 38 percent of all overnight trips taken by Canadians. More than 80 percent of Americans who reported staying in Canada during their travels participated in sport and recreation activities. 3 Tourism is associated with certain professional sports, especially baseball, basketball, and hockey. At home, the hosting of the Olympic Games and major national events has profound and lasting economic impacts.

Entertainment and Leisure Individuals spend a sizeable portion of their disposable income and leisure time on sport. Whether participants, spectators at live events, or viewers of broadcast events, individuals regard sport as a valuable source of entertainment and a worthwhile way to spend their leisure time.

Sports development is ‘enabling people to learn basic movement skills, knowledge and understanding; developing a positive attitude to physical activity. ‘ (Anon) Sports development tries to ensure that all people should have the opportunity to receive physical education and the opportunity …

Each of these play quite a major role in society in helping people to decide whether or not to participate in sport. They can convey both positive and negative reasons which, in turn, leaves people to weigh up the pro’s …

Motivation to take up sport of more people will come from watching the Olympics on television or in person, or by the better sports facilities and better access to sport via grassroot teams. This increase participation in sport would decrease …

Leisure is a general term and just like an umbrella, covers the terms, sport, recreation and play. Leisure is the overall term. Below is a diagram to help explain the relationship between leisure, recreation, sport and play: On the continuum between …

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